Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss. How is smoking related to gum disease? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says:
Smoking weakens your body’s infection fighters (your immune system). This makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Once you have gum damage, smoking also makes it harder for your gums to heal.
What does this mean for me if I am a smoker?
- You have twice the risk for gum disease compared with a nonsmoker.
- The more cigarettes you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease.
- The longer you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease.
- Treatments for gum disease may not work as well for people who smoke.
Tobacco use in any form—cigarettes, pipes, and smokeless (spit) tobacco—raises your risk for gum disease.